Rick Perry Indicted for Two Felonies

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was indicted on Friday on two felony counts of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. The case centers around Perry’s veto last year of $7.5 million in biennial funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit. Perry threatened to withhold the money unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned, pointing to her April 2013 arrest for drunk driving. In that arrest, Lehmberg was caught on tape becoming belligerent as officers booked her into jail. After Lehmberg fulfilled a 45-day sentence and completed a treatment program, she refused to resign and Perry vetoed the money. A Travis County grand jury is looking into whether Perry tried to bribe a public official into stepping down, if he abused his position by using public funds to “obtain a benefit,” or whether he tried to coerce Lehmberg into a “specific performance of [her] official duty.” Perry has defended his actions, saying he was within his constitutional authority to veto appropriations.